Hitmakers headline the new concert stage every week at SoCal’s popular Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula wine country. But the five-star getaway’s real star is Buddy, the first autonomous security robot in the country to patrol a casino. The 5 1/2 -foot tall, 400-pound ‘bot joined the 300-person security staff to help protect the resort’s $300 million expansion.
Buddy quietly roams Pechanga’s huge lobby areas to keep watch and provide a friendly security presence, posing for selfies and briefly chatting with guests when engaged.
Built by Knightscope in Mountain View, California, Buddy is a K5 model. It’s programmed to send live images of what it sees to a central security command post, where security pros can either direct the mobile robot to move closer to a suspicious person or object, or stealthily zoom in with a high-definition camera. Buddy also continuously captures and sends 360-degree, high-definition night and day video of its surroundings, can auto detect license plates and people, and utilizes thermal imaging to gauge fire risks.
What’s next for R2D2-like hotel cybercrime-busters? Pechanga’s VP of public safety, Robert Krauss, hopes for an additional robot security guard to deter after-hours hooligans from breaking into The Cove, Pechanga’s splashy new pool complex.